Gomorrah (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner08/10/2008

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 136 mins

Compelling crime drama with an excellent script, strong performances and assured direction by Matteo Garrone.

What's it all about?
Based on the book by Roberto Saviano, Gomorrah is directed by Matteo Garrone and set in the province of Naples and Caserta, a region controlled by organised crime. The film weaves together five different stories: Don Ciro (Gianfelice Imparato) is a discreet middleman, responsible for paying the families of prisoners, who finds his loyalties tested as the clan leadership is threatened; Toto (Salvatore Abruzzese) is a 13-year-old boy who falls in with a criminal gang after he hides a gun from the police; Roberto (Carmine Paternoster) is a graduate who becomes slowly disillusioned with his charismatic boss Franco (Toni Servillo) as a result of his new job in toxic waste management; Pasquale (Salvatore Cantalupo) is a haute couture tailor who puts his life in danger when he accepts a job training Chinese competitors; and Marco (Marco Macor) and Ciro (Ciro Petrone) are two cocky wannabe gangsters who find a stash of weapons and decide to make a name for themselves.

The Good
The performances are fantastic, with Macor and Petrone the stand outs – their storyline is incredibly tense, like watching a child playing with a loaded gun. Cantalupo is equally good as the put-upon Pasquale, whose sense of job satisfaction comes at a dangerous price. Garrone maintains a superb pace throughout and orchestrates some terrific scenes, by turns shocking, darkly funny, violent and heartbreaking. The film is also skilfully edited by Marco Spoletini.

The Great
The script is excellent, creating an oppressive sense that the world of organized crime is inescapable for these people. Similarly, a series of horrifying captions at the end of the film hammers home some depressing statistics that demonstrate just how bad the situation really is. Finally, it's a testament to the compelling nature of the film that you barely notice the 136 minute running time and even end up wanting more.

Worth seeing?
Gomorrah is a thoroughly engaging, well directed crime drama with a strong script and terrific performances. Highly recommended.

Film Trailer

Gomorrah (15)
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Content updated: 22/09/2018 12:18

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